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The Broomfielder

Finding the Best Dog Hikes In and Near Broomfield

Jun 30, 2019 07:42PM

By Bette Erickson

Dogs are the very best. And if you’re looking for a couple of new places to take your canine companion, consider these tail-friendly trails for you and your pup next time you are out and about. Remember to be mindful of leash laws and to pick up after your dog. So, what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy yourselves.

Metzger Farm

This expansive open space property offers several miles of inter-connected gravel hiking routes, a dock, picnic pavilion and designated parking area suitable for 40 vehicles.

The 152-acre farm is a result of a municipal award-winning joint effort between the cities of Broomfield and Westminster. The public park, open from sunrise to sunset, offers dogs and their caregivers a valuable connector from existing Broomfield trails to the popular Big Dry Creek trail system maintained by Westminster.

If you’re visiting Metzger Farm with a young puppy, consider a quick mile out and back jaunt along the trail from the north edge of the parking area. Continue east staying right to drop down by the pond’s spillway and crossing the bridge connecting to the Big Dry Creek Trail. Return the way you came.

Alternatively, you could take a left where the trail forks just past the farmstead and head north looping around either by turning west or turning right (east) completing a larger circular route.

To get there: Metzger Farm is located on the northeast corner of Lowell Blvd. and 120th Ave.

Green Mountain via Gregory Canyon

Reaching the summit of Green Mountain via Gregory Canyon offers several miles of peaceful and forested terrain ideal for visitors with dogs.

At the trailhead walk west, then veer left crossing Gregory Creek. This trek provides a formidable workout, gaining 2,344 feet in less than three miles. The entire route may not be wise for older dogs on hot summer, mid-days.

Access the Amphitheater Trail eventually merging with the E.M. Greenman Trail. From here expect some frequent, rocky switchbacks and increasing steepness before reaching the summit.

To the trailhead: Park at the west end of Baseline Road at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead in Boulder.

Woods Quarry via NCAR

The dog-friendly route along the Mesa Trail from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in south Boulder stretches to one of Boulder’s most unique destinations: Woods Quarry. 

To begin the quick and easy outing, find the sign for the Mesa Trail and access the footpath by walking down a well-marked trail.  

Next, follow the trail up to a water storage tank and head north (stay right) along the Mesa Trail. This route only offers a few short inclines. Remember to stay left when you see the sign to Skunk Canyon and soon after is a tiny marker indicating Wood’s Quarry.

Leave the Mesa Trail here by going left and making your final steep, stair climbing ascent to the quarry. Relax on the sandstone “chairs” before returning the way you came.

To get thereFollow Table Mesa Dr. in Boulder west to its end at NCAR. 

McKay Lake

Youngsters on bikes and dogs with their guardians love nearby McKay Lake. The open space is home to ancient, towering cottonwood and willow trees along the south side of the small lake and uninterrupted views of the mountains to the west.

The leisurely 1.5-mile loop circling the lake is ideal for a quiet walk with curious canines. Runners, equestrians, and cyclists enjoy the route, also.

From the parking area, go right along the single-track dirt path near the water and through the brush. Notice the interpretive sign and pier nearby. Fishing is allowed.

You’ll briefly be walking alongside a fenced farm to access a wide social trail to the west of the lake, eventually coming upon the new south dam of McKay Lake. Walk east on the wide gravel route with those wonderful cottonwoods framing the trail. Be on the lookout for a variety of waterfowl that frequent this lake.

Follow the footpath as it passes over the large spillway and make your way back to the parking area.

To get thereA spacious parking lot is on the south side of 144th Ave. just west of Pecos St.